Carriers Must be Ready for CPaaS 2.0
A massive shift took place in telecom with the advent of VoIP and SIP. Carriers who initially downplayed the reliability of both, eventually got on board after 2003 when Vonage started to take residential share and Skype started to become a more obvious threat.
Eventually, SIP trunking became a way for communications service providers or CSPs to make money from IP communications.
Another transformation is taking place in telecom – this time it’s CPaaS companies such as Twilio and Nexmo (part of Vonage). The space has high valuations and is taking away high-margin transactions from carriers. They are slowly morphing into CSPs themselves through software.
Carriers are now facing competition on the low-end in the form of consumer VoIP as well as on the high-end where CPaaS providers continue to take away enterprise business.
The solution is to use a white-label solution so carriers can quickly compete with CPaaS vendors and protect their turf according to Kevin Nethercott, VP of Business Development at Telestax who spoke to us in an exclusive interview. Moreover, they can add high-margin services based on programmable voice, messaging and WebRTC.
Kevin explains his company can go feature-by-feature against retail… “It’s a full-stack offering which is hosted, with DevOps in place,” he said.
A programmable voice solution allows carriers to drag-and-drop via a visual designer – creating new and engaging experiences for customers. For example, you can allow them to record, store calls, create and manage conferencing services, text-to-speech and integrate speech recognition.
Programmable SMS text-enables existing phone numbers and UC clients – messaging can be built into any workflow or make for a better customer experience. An SMS support system can create a menu, tickets and update tickets. In addition, number-masking can be utilized to build solutions similar to how Uber allows customers to connect with drivers without call details being shared.
What is most interesting perhaps is RestcommONE Message Exchange, for professionals who want to use SMS to reach people outside the Broadworks UC-One platform.
Broadworks UC-One is a unified messaging platform. The users of companies that deploy it no longer have to use personal mobile devices to send and receive work-related texts. Instead, messaging can be done on business platforms and business contacts are kept within the company. That increases business-related privacy and security.
Deploying Message Exchange takes just 15 minutes… First, businesses need to access the Broadsoft UC server available to get an SMS text. They need to have a valid SSL in place. They must have a RestcommONE account. They should point the SMS URL to RestcommONE. They need to obtain the user’s XMPLL address. And then they can add a new RestcommONE contact in their UC-One client.
“Once this process is followed for the first user, all remaining users in the same domain simply add a new RestcommONE contact in their UC-One client,” Kevin explained.
He continued by saying some carriers offer this service as a loss-leader while others charge an incremental amount. He said, “Carriers want to send alerts, often to authenticate.” He continued, “Service providers are in a great position to fulfill messaging needs.”
How the Voice and SMS Visual Designers work
The most compelling part of our discussion was around CPaaS 2.0. CPaaS 1.0 focused on the developer with interesting use cases and applications. 2.0 will dwarf this he believes. Over the next 5-10 years, he says, half of enterprise traffic will be accessed via API.
In other words, half of enterprise telephony capacity is up for grabs over the next decade.
This is similar to the transition to SIP he explained but a bigger opportunity. He further likened this to IBM Websphere where one tool became available to manage the web by IT departments.
This unification is important he believes as quite often in a company, different divisions and departments are using different CPaaS providers for texting and asking IT to manage it all. The carrier has the relationship and the SLAs in place. He said, “It’s a natural evolution for the service provider to provide a higher level service.” He continued, “This is a huge opportunity and we are uniquely positioned to deliver on this.”
He described their multitenant architecture allowing the carrier to customize a solution for the customer, down to the URI, which can be localized.
CPaaS continues to be a massive opportunity and carriers generally aren’t software companies. A white-label solution from a company like Telestax is a rapid way for a CSP to catch up with CPaaS players defensively and offensively to add high-margin services and consulting.